How Do You Stop Feeling Overwhelmed?

by | Sep 15, 2020 | Coaching Tips Series

A short story for context for this coaching tip. Recently I was working with a client on a goal and no matter what we did, we kept getting stuck. They just didn’t have the mental capacity (at this time) to work it through. They were just overwhelmed.
So we took a step back to look at the bigger picture.

The zoomed in view was of the goal to be achieved, and strategies to get them there. Which got us nowhere.
The zoomed out view was of a person who was tired and struggling to find the motivation to work it out.

From the bigger picture, from looking at the whole person, not just their topic, it was clear: this person needs to get match ready.
We needed to look at “what did they need to be able to have the mental capacity again to deal with the challenge?” And it worked.

So how do you stop feeling overwhelmed?

When we experience being overwhelmed, we often are zoomed in on the detail. But if we can take a step back and look at the whole picture of Wellness, and improve our wellness, then we can find a way forward with that feeling of being overwhelmed (with a lot less effort).

What is Wellness?

Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellnessis more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth” – from UC Davis Student Health Services

What this means is we can have an illness or injury (I have a few) but can still experience a strong sense of wellness and wellbeing.

Coaching tip: work on the bigger picture and build your Wellness Wheel

  1. Work out the answer to “what are my personal component for wellness?” i.e. social, physical, mental, emotional etc
  2. Enjoy them where you have them and create them where you don’t have them yet

Here’s a tool to help you work this out: Wellness Wheel

The instructions on how to use this tool are in this two-page doc. It’s simple and I’ve added some examples of components of wellness to help you. You’ll assess each component on a scale of 1-10 then choose which area you want to improve.

The next step is to look at where you are now (maybe a 4 or a 6) and look at the next level up for you. I.e. if you are at a 4 right now, making the leap to a 10 would be impressive, but unlikely. But you can aim and achieve a 6. So paint a picture for a 6, and work on that.

Here’s an example:

One of my components of wellness is mindset.
My ideal vision (score of 10) for mindset is this: I can let go of unhelpful thoughts and perspectives with ease, agilely move to solve my challenges and find calm and excitement when I want to.

One of the things I do to move towards a 10 on mindset is go for a walk. It shifted me from a 4 to a steady 8.
I get huge benefits from walking around the park near me. It’s good for my back, it’s good for general fitness, it’s good for my spirit to hear the rustling of the leaves, it’s good for my mental health as I get to let go of all the noise buzzing in my head. (This one activity actually helps me with other wellness components which is why I love it so much: efficiency! But, not all my activities are multi-purpose, and that’s ok).

No, it doesn’t solve my challenges.
Yes, it does help me change what I am feeling and my perspective – the feeling of being overwhelmed and of frustration/stuckness/worry, etc lessens or disappears and is replaced with a sense of “I’ve got this. I may not have the answer yet, but I’ve got this”.
Then I can solve my challenges.

It improves my wellness by working on my mindset component.
Plus, having a regular habit of going for a walk improves my wellness exponentially over time.

Over to you

I know you already have some things figured out. you have routines that help keep you sane. And yet, you’ll still get something out of this exercise. So give it a go. You can do this exercise in 10-15 mins, or you can take more time with it and do more components.

Got any questions about how to use it? Just ask. I’ll happily reply to your comments or emails.

Want to do it together with me? Then book a free Experience Coaching session and I’ll take you through the exercise.

(no obligation, no catch, and all that jazz)

This post is part of my special Coaching Tips Series. This series was inspired by my clients and the core themes in their challenges. When we can apply these tips, we bring a lot of ease into our lives and step into our leadership.

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